Chancellor Delivers Budget 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has delivered his first Budget statement to Parliament.

One of two Budgets planned for 2020, the Chancellor began by setting out a series of measures to address the public health challenges of coronavirus. A £30 billion stimulus package will include £7 billion for businesses and families and £5 billion for the NHS.

Acknowledging the UK’s ‘world-beating science and research base’, the Chancellor made several key announcements for the research sector including:

Increased investment in science, innovation and technology to £22 billion by 2024-25.

Over £900 million to ensure UK businesses are leading the way in high-potential technology and sectors, including nuclear fusion, space, electric vehicles, and life sciences.

At least £800 million in a new ‘blue skies’ research agency.

Up to an extra £400 million in 2020-21 to support world-leading research, infrastructure and equipment across the UK.

£300 million for mathematics research between 2020-21 and 2024-25. This will increase funding available for new PhDs, fellowships and research projects.

£80 million to support the UK’s foremost specialist institutions, including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Institute of Cancer Research.

An investment of £1.4 billion over 10 years in the animal health science infrastructure at Weybridge.

£180 million capital funding for a new, state-of-the-art Collections, Research and Digitisation Centre for the Natural History Museum at Harwell Science, Technology and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

£200 million for a new dedicated equity investment programme from the British Business Bank that, invested alongside private sector capital, is expected to enable £600 million of investment to support the UK’s best health and life science innovations.

Further details of measures set out in the Budget will form part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 (CSR). Concluding in July, the CSR will set out detailed spending plans for public services and investment, covering resource budgets for three years from 2021-22 to 2023-24 and capital budgets up to 2024-25.

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